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Old 09-11-2009, 12:15 AM
Karelia Karelia is offline
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Default Withholding sex?

Okay... I've posted before about how frustrating it is to be the person in our triad with the highest sex drive. I was feeling really insecure about sex for a while. Our GF has done a lot to assuage those feelings, but my husband has done nothing - nor did I expect him to. It's just not his MO. He's so rational. If I tell him I feel he doesn't want me, he takes that personally - because in his very rational mind, I should just *know* he wants me, even if we're not having much sex. We've been together so long, and I shouldn't doubt him.

I get that. I honestly do. That doesn't mean I don't like to *feel* desirable, though. And it's why I've never said, "you don't want me," but instead have said, "it feels like you don't want me."

Anyway, I honestly think I am at a huge disadvantage because I am seen, by both of them (and especially him, given our many years together), as a "sure thing." I mean... think about dieting. You're on a diet and you can't have chocolate. How much more time do you spend thinking about chocolate? How much more time do you spend craving it? And how much sweeter does it seem on the rare occasions where you allow yourself to have it? Whereas, if you have chocolate in your house at all times, and give yourself free reign to eat it, you eventually get to the point where, yeah, you like it. You still want to eat it... you just don't crave it, nor do you spend a lot of time thinking about it. When you are dieting, you can pinpoint the very last time you had chocolate almost to the minute... but when you're not dieting, and you can eat it whenever, the odds are good that at least some of the time, you'll have NO idea when you last ate chocolate.

(FYI: I should mention that I follow Intuitive Eating, which means that after years of dieting I now do not restrict my food choices even slightly - so this analogy might work better for me than for some, lol).

Well... our girlfriend is chocolate when you're dieting. Me? I'm chocolate for the Intuitive Eater. Therefore, I'm less desired. Doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy sex with me (just as I enjoy chocolate), but it does mean that, since a) she's still pretty new to our lives, and b) she sometimes says no - and I pretty much haven't in the entire time we've been married (over five years), she is craved in a way that I am not.

Rationally, this all makes sense to me. I can analyze it and see that this is a pretty darn good explanation for his behavior regarding sex. Emotionally, however, especially when you add in sexual frustration, well... it's not pretty.

I've gotten to the point where I'm wondering if I shouldn't make myself a limited commodity. As someone said to me in PM (and if you're reading, take credit), a DeBeers approach. Limit something that's actually available in mass amounts and make it more valuable.

Is that wrong? Part of me feels like I'm a) cheating myself out of a chance to have sex for no real good reason, and b) being dishonest. But what else can I do (aside from learn to live with feeling like I'm second string when it comes to sex)?

I don't want to do this out of spite. I don't want to do this to be cruel. I just want to see if maybe it makes me a little less taken for granted...

I once told him I've considered withholding sex, but realized there was little point... I'm so rarely asked, who'd notice? He made some comment I can't quite remember, but the gist of it was "if that's what you need to do, okay."

He and I have "alone time" tomorrow, and so the chances are better than they are most days... and I am not feeling all that sexy or desirable. I'm thinking that there is a part of me that actually doesn't *want* sex as a result of those feelings... but get me in the moment, and to paraphrase Judy Blume, my Power just kicks in and it's a knee jerk reaction.

Has anyone ever been in my shoes? Any thoughts or suggestions? Talking it through is something that's been done... we've hashed and rehashed the subject to the point where I'd be risking making him want sex (with me) even less... he knows how I feel. I know that he thinks I *should* know he wants me.

Okay... I'm done. Go.

Last edited by Karelia; 09-11-2009 at 12:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2009, 12:41 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I'm not sure if I could keep up with you either, if living with you is anything remotely at all like reading your messages.

And I'm not saying that to be mean, either. But I'm thinking, maybe your husband IS a little burnt-out about you and needs time to recharge.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:50 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Were it me, I'd simply look for somebody outside the triad. If the triad isn't meeting my needs, I'd change things to where my needs were being met.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:58 AM
Karelia Karelia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YGirl View Post
I'm not sure if I could keep up with you either, if living with you is anything remotely at all like reading your messages.

And I'm not saying that to be mean, either. But I'm thinking, maybe your husband IS a little burnt-out about you and needs time to recharge.
LOL. I am not offended. However, I rarely initiate. With him, especially. So... they *know* I'm available, but it's not like I'm constantly trying to get in their pants. Gee, I guess I make myself sound like a total horndog or something. LMAO. I'd be totally happy to have sex with each of them once a week each and once a week with all of us... which, I don't *think* is that MUCH. Now, I probably wouldn't turn down more sex than that... but that's about the amount I *crave*.

SeventhCrow, you are not the first to make that suggestion. The problem is, I never intended to be poly. I was firmly and happily monogamous (despite the sex drive differences, which have always existed), before we met our GF. I am not sure I define myself as poly, even though I am in a poly relationship. I love them both... and it's the love that motivates the sexual longing. We're a closed triad, and that is pretty much the only way it would work for us (especially for my husband, but for me, too).

At the end of the day, it's all irrelevant, because even if he came to me today and said, feel free to have sex with another guy, I'd never be able to do it, and actually might be hurt by the very suggestion. The idea of any man other than him touching me makes me feel slightly queasy.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:28 AM
sweetie sweetie is offline
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Okay I'm new to the forum so I don't want to offend. Having been on the other side of what you're saying, I can tell you I've seen this, lived through it, and have somehow managed to come out the other side.

I know it feels like she's the chocolate, but if she truly cares about you, and it sounds like she does, she is not feeling any better about it then you are.

Yes they probably seem like they are in the honeymoon stage, but believe me when I tell you it's not feeling like that to her. It isn't a honeymoon if someone you care so much about is hurting.

When we went through this I talked to both partners. I was the "new" trying to help in anyway I could. What I heard from "M" was " It doesn't feel like he wants me anymore, and after having tried so many times, I'm not going to try again." "D" was saying, " It feels like a competition. If I'm with you, then I have to be with her. Can't I just not feel like it?"

Everyone was confused, including myself. The long and the short of it was it's new. Everyone is trying to find their place. What has always been the way he was, doesn't mean he's that way now. A new relationship means new dynamics. It's a learning curve, and we don't always do it the right way.

Having been on the other side, I understand the longstanding relatonship that existed before I was a part of it. I also understand the newness of a new love. Communication is still the most important part of your relationship.

It might be that your male partner just needs to work it out in his own head. Sometimes it's easy for someone who has been with another for a long period of time to believe we know what they are thinking or how they will react. But put a new person in the mix, and everything you thought you knew or believed, goes out the window.

Give it time, and believe in yourself. As hard as it might be to believe. Sometimes it's not about what's going on in our heads. It's about what's going on in theirs.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:20 AM
Karelia Karelia is offline
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Sweetie, nothing you said was even remotely offensive, and I appreciate the thoughts. I am fairly sure that she sees what I do, and I know she hurts to think she is causing me pain, even indirectly. It is why - even if my most paranoid thoughts were true, and he actually DID like and want sex with her more - I wouldn't ever want her to leave. I'd just have to learn to cope with the feelings. I don't actually, in my more sane moments, believe that this is true... it *feels* true, but I don't actually believe it to be the case.

It is definitely true that we are dealing with a learning curve, and in some ways the dynamics of my relationship with him have changed... and of course, that's a bit scary, too. Even if I knew it was inevitable, it's still a major change and the reality of it is sometimes overwhelming.

However, she makes it worth it, and so I am working towards understanding myself better and figuring out how to adapt. It's really all I can do, at the end of the day.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:07 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I realize that you are horny and feel unappreciated, but it really does look like you're putting way too much emphasis on the sex act. When I said that your husband might be burnt-out from trying to keep up with you, I didn't mean it like how many times per week do you expect him to fuck you, I meant it more along the lines of being made to entertain responsibility for your feelings.

You have specified numerous times that you know he appreciates / desires you but that you just don't FEEL appreciated / desired. What mmore can one person expect from another. He can't get inside of your head and make you "feel appreciated / desired". Even if he has sex with you MORE than the GF, you've already set it up so that it would be "pity sex". There is a term for this, I can't remember what it is, but it's the one described by "be spontaneous". It's like when a wife wishes her husband would "be more romantic" but if she told him what she wanted and he suddenly started bringing roses and lighting candles, she'd be all "You're not doing that because you WANT to, you're just doing that because I TOLD you to. BE SPONTANEOUS!"

That's you.

Srsly - I don't see this as something that your husband and/or your girlfriend can fix for you. I think you have set yourself up as the loser no matter what course of action the other people involved choose to take. It's probably a good thing that you have the triad. Normally, I'd say that it's not a good idea to add more people if you haven't worked out the already existing issues in your marriage or "primary" relationship - but in your case it appears that you have become complacent regarding certain things and the new interpersonal dynamic has brought out some opportunities to work on these issues and hopefully grow from the experience and become a better person.

But we don't know each other and you don't have to listen to or believe anything I say. I have not walked in your shoes nor have I ever been in the triad type of relationship configuration. I am also not a licensed or trained therapist or counselor.

Please disregard anything that turns out to be an incorrect assumption, because I sometimes have difficulty remembering which specifics apply to which individual on the forums. As most of you are prob'ly aware, people start threads and then go and give advice or respond to other people's threads, and sometimes the stories are sort of similar.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:47 PM
Karelia Karelia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YGirl View Post
It's probably a good thing that you have the triad. Normally, I'd say that it's not a good idea to add more people if you haven't worked out the already existing issues in your marriage or "primary" relationship - but in your case it appears that you have become complacent regarding certain things and the new interpersonal dynamic has brought out some opportunities to work on these issues and hopefully grow from the experience and become a better person.
You are semi-correct, I suppose, in this... I've already said to both of them, and to a few close friends, that I've been forced to recognize things I hadn't had to see when I was the center of his universe. However, to characterize those things as "existing issues" in my marriage is definitely incorrect. They are existing issues within my own head.

Whilst it is true that he and I have always had very different sex drives, I had gotten to a point where I didn't see that as being about me anymore. Initially I did. We have the very complicated history of having broken up several times in our first year together - mainly because he wasn't emotionally ready for me, but at the time it was made to be about the sex not being very good. I was not terribly experienced, fairly insecure, and just to make it even more fun, almost all of my previous sexual experience was with my first boyfriend, who, as it turned out, was desperately trying not to be gay. He was very specific in what he wanted in bed, and what he wanted was *not* what most men want. I kept believing it was something that could be worked through, but he believed that you either had the skills or didn't. Eventually, he got to a point where he realized he simply didn't care... he loved me and sex with anyone else was no longer fulfilling, no matter how good it was. Not long after that, and I'm sure in part because he'd made it very clear that he wanted me regardless, we were out drinking and it lowered my inhibitions, and suddenly I was far more comfortable in my own skin, and we turned a major corner where sex was concerned (and the booze was only required that one time, after that I was far more relaxed and confident).

However, there were times, early on when living together, where I wondered if maybe he'd "settled" sexually, and the lower sex drive wasn't a result of that. Ultimately, he convinced me that this wasn't the case.

At the start of this year, about a month before we met our GF, he had a bit of a sex drive renaissance. Well, more than a bit. We were having sex four or five times a week, which we had NEVER done, even early in our relationship when everything was new. When we met her (online, initially), this continued, and we even went 17 days in a row and joked about a streak. I am sure some of this was fueled by NRE, even though she wasn't with us in person at that point, but because it had started even before we met her, I know it wasn't ALL about NRE. We've had a very difficult 3 years... a lot of major life changes, and while we never lost each other, I do think the external influences meant we gave less to each other. So, I think the start of this sexual exploration and increase in sex drive for him, was partly related to us finally coming out of the fog of the last three years.

You are, at least to an extent, correct about pity sex, which is why I tend to avoid (as much as is possible without causing issues) discussing this topic with him. No one wants to feel like they're being given pity sex. However, the flip side is, this is a man who is exceedingly stubborn at times, and rarely does something he doesn't want to do (though admittedly, when IS doing something he'd rather not do, it's almost always for either me or our GF). Pity sex isn't really his MO... for which I am grateful, believe me.

I recognize I can't change his sex drive or his behavior to make me feel more wanted. I know that any change has to come from me, and part of the reason I am on this forum is to learn more about myself and to work through solutions for some of my issues. I know I very clearly link sex and emotional intimacy, and that's not something he does...

Now, all of this said and acknowledged... there are a few things that have upset me that I feel are valid.

One weekend night, he and I thought ALL of us were going to have sex. She was going through something challenging at the time, however, and wasn't up for it when the time came. I was talking to him in IM and said, "do you still want to?" His reply was, "I did if it was all of us, but I really don't feel like having to get up afterwards." What he meant was that since she wasn't involved, he and I would be having sex in the downstairs bedroom, and he'd have to get up, as opposed to going straight to sleep. This in and of itself was an issue, but then she told me she wasn't going straight to bed and he and I should feel welcome to go in the bedroom and have sex and she'd join us for sleeping later. He decided that would be awkward. The latter part, we've since worked through... he and I did (once) have sex while she wasn't in the bedroom. I didn't really understand how that could be "awkward" since we all have sex with each other during alone time and usually the 3rd is in the house somewhere.

The previous part, however, we've not worked through. We had sex downstairs at night maybe once or twice since that conversation, and now I've resigned myself to the reality that we will not have sex at night (weekends where she stays up aside, but usually the three of us are together on weekends, so that's not something that would happen all that often). It still stings, though, to feel like it's not worth the effort to have to come upstairs after sex. When I told her about this, she said that if he'd said that to her, she'd have been hurt by it, too... and would've felt not worth the effort. He claimed that even if it had been her who wanted sex that night, he wouldn't have wanted to come upstairs and would've said no. He says that's just true of any night. It would be inconvenient, and he wouldn't want to do that. My argument to him is that it's very easy to say that, because the odds of me saying "no" on any given night are pretty damn slim, and he knows that.

He's told her repeatedly how rare it has been for me to turn him down, and this is true. I just don't necessarily think that before she entered our lives, I was aware of him thinking that way. So, the feeling of being taken for granted is a legitimate one. I simply am... and the consideration of being less sexually available is something that came about because of that.

The point is, if I never say no, do I just dig myself deeper into this position of being assumed a sure thing? The reality is there are nights I don't want sex. The odds of either of them knowing that, however, are slim... because those are nights when they don't try. There were times, long before her, where I didn't necessarily want sex, but my thought when it was initiated was "well, you don't know when you'll next get the chance," and so I went along... and my body being what it is, it didn't take a lot to get me to the point where I *did* want sex.

So, YGirl, I don't think you're completely off base with some of your assumptions. I did, however, want to clarify the difference between I had internal issues I didn't need to work through before the triad and our marriage had issues, because the former is certainly true, but the latter is not.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:44 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post
You are semi-correct, I suppose, in this... I've already said to both of them, and to a few close friends, that I've been forced to recognize things I hadn't had to see when I was the center of his universe. However, to characterize those things as "existing issues" in my marriage is definitely incorrect. They are existing issues within my own head.

(snip)

So, YGirl, I don't think you're completely off base with some of your assumptions. I did, however, want to clarify the difference between I had internal issues I didn't need to work through before the triad and our marriage had issues, because the former is certainly true, but the latter is not.
I stand corrected. Fair enough - I probably should have thrown the proverbial "and/or" in there and said "existing issues with regard to yourself and/or your marriage" because like I said, I don't know you well enough to tell where one thing ends and where another begins, for lack of encompassing terminology.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:03 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karelia View Post
One weekend night, he and I thought ALL of us were going to have sex. She was going through something challenging at the time, however, and wasn't up for it when the time came. I was talking to him in IM and said, "do you still want to?" His reply was, "I did if it was all of us, but I really don't feel like having to get up afterwards." What he meant was that since she wasn't involved, he and I would be having sex in the downstairs bedroom, and he'd have to get up, as opposed to going straight to sleep. This in and of itself was an issue, but then she told me she wasn't going straight to bed and he and I should feel welcome to go in the bedroom and have sex and she'd join us for sleeping later. He decided that would be awkward.
Yes; even though I seem to remember something about him having MS and sometimes stairs give him difficulty, THIS seems like a cop-out. If you're feeling well enough to fuck, it would seem that doing the stairs afterward is not beyond reasonable expectation (unless you're a paraplegic or something but that's a whole other set of circumstances and we don't need to go there). Then there's the other detail about the GF saying "You two go ahead, I'll be in for beddy-bye later". It just doesn't make sense, this "all three of us or nothing" and "I don't want to get up after".

Part of me wants to tell this guy to grow up. He does not HAVE to roll over and start snoring right after blowing a load. Sorry to be crude, but that's what it SOUNDS like. I know you're going to write a long reply clarifying about how affectionate and shit he is after finishing, etc. etc. That is not really necessary. I am simply using the "blowing a load" euphemism as a form of hyperbole to illustrate how selfish that particular behaviour pattern looks to an outside disinterested party such as myself.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 09-11-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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